Yesterday we looked at some good points when it comes to writing blogs. This included what NOT to do and what to do when planning for and shaping your blog content to fit in with your overall goals.
For those that may not have established an overall plan to include goals, we went through some of the things to include planning your posts, establish goals that you will build into your posts so they are moving you forward with your online marketing program, etc.
Today we will drill down further into the bowels of preparing effective and captivating blog posts that have interesting and engaging content for readers of your content.
Let’s get started!
OK, based on yesterday’s training, you now have an idea of the direction you want to go for all your posts, and your plan includes how you will tie the posts together to address your overall goals.
Now we are ready to put your post together. So where do we begin? In my mind, you have already put together a calendar of planned posts that you want to write about over a period of time…
If you have NOT done this, I suggest stepping back from the point we are at and getting this in place. When you have a plan and goals, it is easier to then decide on the subjects, what you want to cover, how you will cover it and the calls to actions you will include.,.,
If you HAVE done this, let’s continue on to actually putting your post together…
STYLES FOR POSTS
Lists are extremely popular these days. They’re easy to write. They’re easy to read. And they’re effective in convincing people to take action. Not only that, they’re very easy to match with an appropriate call to action.
I will use my site once again so you see what I mean. The segmented blog posts I have often include lead magnets that are directly related to the content in the post. For instance, I have a couple on membership sites here ==>MEMBERSHIP SITES 1 and MEMBERSHIP SITES 2 ß
The lead magnet is for further information on lead magnets, and not only that, I try to provide a product if one is available that I either own or promote as an affiliate that will help the readers. I am not selling junk as I only want to promote products and services that deliver.
I also add in an opt-in form to gain access to the free giveaway, so I can capture their name and email. Because they are interested in what I am giving away, they do not mind providing this. It is a win-win situation for both sides.
Conduct and Write About Interviews
When you are starting out in the online marketing world, you likely will not have a great deal of credibility. This comes with time, effort and your consistency in regards to adding in a steady supply of fresh and interesting content that niche readers will enjoy reading.
The newcomers to your site also do not know you, even if you have been around a long time. They may have heard of you, but certainly there Is no relationship there or trust. So, what can you do to speed this trust process up?
Try to get an expert in your field to help you out by letting you interview them, and even offer then the chance to review and approve the result that you will post on your page. If they want, let them also add in a blurb that will support your content and add instant credibility to your readers.
By getting a recognized industry expert either agreeing to an interview or adding to your blog post, it immediately lets the readers know that you and your blog is relevant, and it will make it a lot easier to get them to take action on your included calls to action.
Use Tools, Tips & Tricks In Your Blogging Plan
Like adding list type posts, tools, tips & tricks are used extensively and are very popular on blogs. The reason is that that are quick and easy to put together, provide information in an easy way to understand, and are very useful in leading to and drawing attention to your calls-to-action that you have added.
You can do these by getting ideas from other blogs, then add your own spin to the story. If someone has written about 10 tips on a subject. Do some research and write about 20!
Alternatively, you could find one very good tip or a tool, and expand on it like no other blog post has done. Then tell people they can opt-in for more tips and tricks just like it. have a lead magnet ready for them when they do opt-in…
Provide An In-Depth Tutorial On Relevant Subjects In Your Niche
Tutorials are always very good for drawing in traffic to your website, and especially if they are well-written they can be an easy sell for getting people to take action that you want. After all, if you’re able to teach them how to do something they’ve wanted to learn, you’ve just proven you know what you’re talking about!
If you show them that you have something to teach them that they’ve wanted to learn, that is of value to them, you’ have just proven that you do know what you’re talking about, and why not take action…
Create and Use Videos To Support Blog Posts
If you look through all my posts here on this site, you will see that many cover the general subject of videos. You may be asking yourself why…
The reason I have a lot of content on this is that videos can be so very helpful in convincing people to take action. People learn using different methods, some do not like to read a 3000-word blog post!
Videos provide a way for you to connect with the visitors using more receptors and in an entertaining way that will help you keep them on your site and also help in the rest of your blogging goals.because you can actually use the video itself to ask people to take action.
They can be combined with blog posts to add an interrupter to the page…It is something that will draw the attention of the reader..You can add your call to action right in the video.
You can ask them to visit the rest of your website, provide a link to something you are selling, or add an opt-in to the video to get them to subscribe to your website.
Writing Content That Captivates and Sells
OK, now you have some ideas on how to write your post. Next, you have to either look at your schedule of planned posts for a subject to write about, or you can see what is popular now and see if it would fit into your goals.
Whatever you do, do NOT write just for the sake of adding some content to your website. Id you add content on your blog site that has nothing to do with your niche it could actually HURT you more than it helps.
Remember that more content is not always the best. Rather relevant and engaging content is the best. if you are not careful, Google, which does pay attention to what you add to your website, and tracks how long people are staying on your site, could penalize you.
What I am talking about is called the “bounce rate”, and it means how quickly people leave your site or don’t click on another article you have. Google algorithms that check this see this rate as an indicator of how good your content is.
If your bounce rate is high, this could mean a drop in your site rankings.
This is one reason to make sure that your content matches your niche. Plus you will not sell many apples if you are talking about oranges…Makes sense?
So I suggest that you visit other popular sites in your niche to see what they are writing about. get some ideas on the subjects, also look at the layout of the site, and the comments.
Grab something to take notes with when you do this. Write down anything that would help you! You can learn a lot and use it for your own blogging efforts.
If you like, you can write your own version of popular topics. This is done by changing them by writing something that similar, but different. You want to add your own unique take on the topic, do not plagiarize or copy other’s content.
Next, it’s important to create catchy headlines that will actually make people want to click and read the article…
You have probably heard or read on other posts about the importance of great headlines. The reason you will is that it is a very important element of any blog post.
When I started I used to have problems coming up with what I thought were effective headlines. Looking back on the early ones on this site from a year ago, I have to say there were some that are terrible!
Let’s look at some examples:
(1) Example Headline One
“Copywriting Is Important for Success”
“12 Ways Awsome Copywriting Will make You Money!”
(2) Example Headline Two
“Videos Are Good For Websites”
“How Using Videos Will Increase Your Sales By 300%!”
(3) Example Headline Three
“The Best SEO Tool”
“The Most Effective & Easy SEO Tool To Use For2016!”
(4) Example Headline Four
“How To Get More Blog Traffic”
“12 Secret Sources Of Traffic That Will Make Your Blog Traffic Explode!”
The good ones mentioned after the bad may seem a bit like over-hype at first glance. They work. though. Think about the articles that catch your eye when you are browsing the internet.
Almost all the popular articles have catchy headlines. Even the big players do add in hype to attract people’s attention. Do it sensibly, by not promising something that is in no way close to being delivered in your post, but certainly it is OK to take a little creative license with your headlines.
Inject enough hype so it makes people curious enough when they read it to move through to reading your blog post….
I also use a tool (I am a great fan of tools that help you do more with your time) that will analyze your headlines and even offer suggestions that will make it stronger.
You can also collect a swipe file of good headlines. This is nothing more than collecting the ones you particularly like as you go about your online marketing business. They can give you loads of ideas when it comes to writing your own!
BODY OF YOUR BLOGS
Over time, I have developed a template that I regularly use to build my blog posts. In that template, I include all of the basic points that need to be included in a post.
Every time I start writing a blog post, I already have a template, a structure, in mind before I even start writing…
This includes more than just the elements. I also make sure that I look at the design (layout), images and videos (as appropriate), check for SEO coverage (for the search engines), and lastly I make sure to add the post into my menus so site visitors can find them… ,
Having this template in mind before I even start writing helps me save time, make sure every point is covered, and the post will not have a missing element or not have SEO completed.
It is also a cross check that I can refer to as I write (i.e. what are my goals and how is this post fitting in)…
Keeping that in mind, here’s an excerpt of the blog post template I use:
(1) Introduction – My Lead or Hook
These are the first few paragraphs of my post, and in this short introduction, I try to make sure that I grab the attention of the reader…
I often do this through presenting a problem of one sort or another and then describing why the content pertains to the reader, in that a solution is offered for the problem.
Typical Length: Two To Four Paragraphs.
(2) Expand On The Problem
In the main body of the post, I will be sure to expand on just what the problem, try to relate it to my personal experience if possible, and show the readers that I can relate to what they are experiencing.
For example, I will let them know why solving their problem is so difficult. Then add in my experiences, and maybe cite other’s experiences from other sources. You’re also setting up your solution, which we’ll get to next. This is a great place to tell a story or use an example.
It may help to add in a story as well, and together what you are creating the scenario for your solution to be presented. Your case is made stronger at this point for the solution.
Typical Length: Three To Five Paragraphs.
(3) The Solution Using “Core Points”
At this point in your blog, the reader is ready to read about your solution. Now you have to provide it to them in a succinct manner that they can quickly digest.
I see many blog writers start at this point, but they are missing out on the chance to set up the scenario reasons why the solution you present is necessary not only for the reader but others, to include yourself (the writer).
Here you can also add in a call to action if it fits. Note that can be done earlier on in the post as well. In my opinion, it is good to include a call to action in the first portion of the post so that readers will see it and can move on it if they choose not to read to the bottom of your post.
Typical Length: Three To Five Paragraphs
(4) Conclusion – RestateThe Core Points
Once you have laid out your solution, which may have two or more points, then you add in a section that ties them together. You explain how these will solve the problem that you presented in the introduction.
We used to call this a wrap up in briefings that I had to give in earlier professional jobs. It is a good chance to reiterate the points of the problem and solution, and add in a final opportunity for a call to action.
Typical Length: Two To Four Paragraphs.
(5) The Final Point
I like to get comments from readers because I think it adds to the content when others share their experiences or their reactions to the post. I t gives you an opportunity to again get your keywords into the content naturally.
Typical Length: For me it generally is no longer than one or two paragraphs.
Other things I have in my template includes goals, a checklist for SEO, appearance, keywords, title check, final review for grammar and blog flow. Lastly I make sure that I add to my menus after posting immediately.
CALLS TO ACTION
This element of your post deserves special attention because it is such an important part of your posts. It does no good to write something that is not moving you forward to meeting one of your goals, whether that us getting subscribers, sales, or sign-ups, etc.
I want to cover some of the main components you should consider and then go into some examples…These elements of a good call to action all will influence the quality and effectiveness of yours.
(1) What Are The Goals
This goes back to this subject again, which also are important as you create your blog posts. Are the kinds of actions are you trying to stimulate matched to your goals?
If you are trying to get subscribers, create your message to promote this. Here the words are important. You can use a “download now” button or a “send me info.”
On the other hand, if you are selling something, words like “buy now” or “Immediate Download” might be appropriate. These buttons would be added to a short call to action.
This leads me to the next point…
(2) Succinct Blurb Using Action Words
There have been numerous studies on the impact your choice of words can have on a potential customer. Just a few changes can have a major impact on your conversion rates.
Therefore, it is wise to choose them carefully and when you find something that works, stick to it. Testing is essential for this to best work, and you may even consider adding a tool to track what your site visitors are doing while they are your pages.
Overall, make sure that you are emphasizing value and relevance in your calls to actions. This may mean changing generic “buy now” or download here” with words that relate to the problem you are solving…
Try replacing generic action buttons with some personalized copy that stresses to the prospect what they will realize when they buy…
If you are selling a course on improving copywriting skills, for instance, you could say “Improve Conversions By Up To 100 % Now” or similar on your button. It is specific and adds to the call to action.
Use action verbs and subjects in the active voice, and include numbers if appropriate – But keep it all short – your call to action should be straightforward and clear. No fluff at all!
(3) Make It Interesting
Make sure that your call to action captivates the reader, Build bonds through using pronouns such as “me” and “you.” Also, focus on the needs of your potential clients. Show them clearly how you are solving their problem. Then use visuals that support your written message and go for a tasteful mix of
Also, be sure to select visuals that will further support your written message. I would look at a mix of colors and effects to capture your visitors’ attention. These should not take away from your message, rather support it…
We mentioned it above, but it is worth reemphasizing it. Make sure you keep your call to action short and clear. I have looked at many sites and studies are quoted showing that the best calls to actions are under 150 characters. Think Twitter, where you have to work a lot into a short message. In addition, the size of your CTA buttons is also important. A too-small version won’t command
I have looked at many sites and studies are quoted showing that the best calls to actions are under 150 characters. Think Twitter, where you have to work a lot into a short message.
Also, the overall size of your banner or button is important. Too small it will not command attention, it may appear cluttered, and not be effective. Too large, and it could be that you are perceived as desperate to make the sale.
I recommend testing to see what works best. A/B testing is a good start, and if you want you can add a tracking pixel to your funnel pages, and even use the on-site tracking plugins to see what your traffic is doing while they are on-site.
(5) Check Your Flow & Tone
Remember we just mentioned using action-oriented words. Taking that one step further, choose commanding words implying leadership and expertise.
When you select such words, stay away from technical jargon. You are not trying to impress or confuse your readers, you want them simply feel compelled to take action. Add benefits of your offer in a few words.
Use words that are commonly understood in the niche you are selling to. You can make your copy much more powerful by using everyday words in a conversational tone.
Here are a few examples…
Try starting out with these and build your own call to action…
(1) Free […]
This is something that attracts me, and I am sure most people! You can add in variances to this like “get” “today only (scarcity), or similar, but free works!
(2) Address their problem…i.e. “Sick of […]?
When you directly address their problem in this manner you are appealing to them on an emotional level. This works!
(3) Ask A Question: Do You Want/Need […] Grab Our Awsome/Free/Effective [Product].
Write the question to address their needs, cravings and problems. In this case, you want to use verbs that will tug at the viewers emotions when it comes to their plans, their desires, or their goals. This psychological technique will work…
(4) Social Proof: Here’s Why [Influencer] Recommends/Uses [item].
People today are using social proof prior to making purchases more than ever. If you can provide that to them, it makes your call to action much stronger. Using this tactic, in a few words, you have instantly built credibility and trust for your product.
(5) Use Testimonials
Satisfied customers that are willing to provide testimonials can be very effective. Similar to influencers, instantly you have trust and credibility in the eyes of your potential customers.
Bottom Line: Creating more effective calls to action is not hard. Start off using the above techniques, and build your own. Have someone look at them to get some feedback, then test, do more testing, and yet more. Over time, you will have lots of success.
Here are just a couple of other considerations for you when you are creating your engaging, interesting, and effective blogs that have strong and clear calls to action…
You have worked very hard to publish the absolute best product for your readers.
Then, you wait….and wait….and wait.
What Happens Next When You Have Attracted Traffic
You have worked hard to plan for a series of blog posts that will support your overall goals and also put a lot of effort into making them interesting, engaging, entertaining, and relevant.
You have prepared lead magnets that support your segmented posts by subject, and done some marketing and have social share buttons for your readers.
Still your reader does not opt –in….
I agree that this can be quite frustrating after all your work…You simply are not getting the responses nor actions you had expected. They’re consuming your bandwidth, reading the content you worked hard to create, and not buying anything or subscribing to your email list?
The visitors to your site are reading the content you worked so hard to create and publish , and yet they are not buying anything or even subscribing to your email list?
So why does this happen, and what can you do about it?
It is hard to be objective when you prepare content. No matter how great you think the content is, for whatever reason your visitors were not convinced of the value you know is there for them.
There are a couple of things that might be the problem:
(1) The way your content is presented
If you have not managed to gain the trust or if they are not sure they need what you are offering, you will not get them subscribing to your free lead magnet, nor will they buying a paid product from you, or anything else that you are calling for them to do…
(2) Reader was distracted or busy elsewhere
The second reason this can happen to you is because the user may be too busy at the moment they are looking at your blog post and call to action…Perhaps they simply cannot avail themselves of the product or service you are offering. Maybe they don’t have the money at that moment to buy…
Perhaps they simply cannot avail themselves of the product or service you are offering. Maybe they don’t have the money at that moment to buy…
So what can you do when this second reason is the case? Once that visitor leaves your page they are gone, right?
Nope…Visitors Can Be Presented More Opportunities…Read On…
You do have some options that tie into the blog post you have worked so hard on…
Use Retargeting To get More Looks
No worries, you have a handy little tool from Facebook that will give you a second and more chances to get the visitor on your page or squeeze page again. we can retarget such Blog visitors and present more chances for them to subscribe, buy, or join whatever your call to action may require…
The tool allows what is called retargeting, where information on the visitor is collected they then can be presented with more chances to subscribe, buy, or join – whatever your call to action may require…
Facebook offers the tool, and it is called a retargeting pixel that you can add onto your blog .pages Then anyone who has visited your site becomes eligible for this retargeting tool. If you put a Facebook retargeting pixel on your blog, you can then advertise on Facebook specifically to people who visited your site in the past.
Once you have this Facebook retargeting pixel on your blog, you can advertise on Facebook specifically to those people who have visited your site.
Is that cool, or what?
Now if you are fairly new to the online marketing world, you may think , “Why would I want to spend money for advertising on people who have been to my site and they didn’t take any action at all, they did not buy or sign up for a thing?”
Think about this factoid:
On average, a typical person will see an ad three times before they then decide to move to buy what is advertised. Since most of your visitors are new to your site, they certainly have not seen the sale you have three times.
Facebook retargeting gives you a chance to get that conversion!
Add to the factoid above the next fact: These new website visitors do not know you from a hill of beans. There is no trust, no relationship, no bond.
Retargeting gives you a chance for having these visitors get to know you and start to trust your content and calls to action. By using retargeting and facebook advertising, you can these people that you are there for them.
There could be a case argued that their intention was to come back to your site , but they may have forgotten, or been too busy. Using retargeting, you remind them…
Facebook advertising is a very reasonable route to go when it comes to online advertising. Keys are using the right keywords to focus on and getting a really highly targeted audience that will see your ads.
So think of this as a way to NOT waste traffic that you have had to your site. Why have stop by once and maybe never again? get it back using retargeting!
For more on this check out the Facebook page that expands on the tool here:
===> INFO ON FACEBOOK RETARGETING <===
OK, there is more…
Here’s another thing that can happen if your market your blog post effectively and have a bit of luck…
Blog Posts That Go Viral
The thing about blogging is that likely it is a product you created by yourself, away from others. You put a lot of effort into your published product and you are proud of your effort and the outcome, and then… nothing…
Your website traffic remains at the same levels as before you published that super post. There is nobody commenting, no social shares, nada…
When you see the lack of activity, you start feeling quite sad, depressed maybe, and this in-turn leads to a cycle of feelings of failure…No one likes what you are providing them…
Please believe me when I say it’s probably not really as bad as what you think. Normally, if you take some additional steps you can get that traffic, the comments, the shares, and maybe even have the post go viral.
Here are a few steps you can add to your steps in posting content your website to help the path to success along go a bit quicker…
- Write engaging content. Add some pizzazz to your writing. Remember the school textbooks that we all hated so long ago? If you write in that style, you are missing the boat. Liven up your writing by adding in some wit a little excitement. Write in the first person and using an informal style whenever possible. Add in some of your own personal experiences as appropriate. In short, give people a good reason why they want to share your content with their friends!
- Make Sure Your Social Sharing Buttons Are Easily Accessible. You have to make sure they are easy to see and use on your website. I recommend that you grab good social sharing WordPress plugin and use it on your site. People will not share if it is not easy to do so. It is that simple. Next, make sure that in every post you have an image that is Pinterest worthy. What I mean by that is that it is taller than it is wide, and you need to add in a title so people can easily share it on Pinterest and their viewers can see what it is about.
- Check Your Calls To Actions. Are they clear, easy to follow up on, are any links working properly, does the call to action match the subject of the post and your goal? Is the call to action within your content?
- ASK People To Share Your Content. You would be surprised just how effective this can be to get people to share your content. If you do not ask, many will simply not think of it. If you ask, they will do it. It costs them but a second of time…Try adding in a box at the end of your article asking them to share.
- Include a Contest. This is a very effective way to get people to share your content and also comment. ou can set it up so that people will get awarded ‘points’ every time they share and comment. Add leaderboards so they get their name in lights! Give away prizes for the most active people. This kind of thing can help make your content go viral. The more they share, the better chance they have to win….
There you have it! My two-part series on writing effective and captivating blog posts is complete. I hope that it has given you some ideas on how you can proceed with your blogging efforts…
I notice that even experienced bloggers that have been doing them for years could use a refresher once in a while, and this is exactly what I was shooting for here.
Of course, I wanted also to offer something of value to the new-to-blogging reader, as some are just told to start writing, and do not understand how important it is to incorporate the elements I have covered.
Please take a few moments and let me and others know about your own experiences and frustration with blog posts. By sharing, we can all learn and I know other readers appreciate your contributions as well. Thanks in advance!